What Your Watch Preferences Say About You

Five distinctive types of watch buyers and the timepieces they wear
ILLUSTRATOR Alec Doherty for Esquire UK

Whether you're a veteran in the horological game or a fresh face looking to invest in your first serious watch, we all fall into a certain type of discernible buyer.

Here we break down the five most common timepiece tribes... ring any bells?

1 . The Fresher


He's in his early twenties, fresh off campus and the world doesn't know what's about to hit it. This guy built up a burrito food truck empire in his first year at university, ran two club nights and still managed a first with honors. Though he's not into suits, as such, he likes his clothes and recently invested good money into a pair of Church's brogue boots (his dad swears by the Northampton shoemaker, after all). Watch-wise, he's about to make his first serious investment and he knows what he likes… he thinks.


From left: Steel Classima slim on black alligator strap by Baume & Mercier; Titanium Carrera Connected touchscreen by TAG Heuer; both available at The Watch Gallery

2 . The High Flyer


He's got money to burn and he's got Rolex on his mind (who hasn't?). He's just spent half his savings marrying his wife (who has a thing for Italian shoes) and he's just about ready to splash out hard-earned cash on himself. The High Flyer reads the FT during the week and Esquire at the weekend, he likes sushi (not so keen on sashimi) and prefers Bourne to Bond—he's just that kind of a guy.

From left: Steel Oyster Perpetual Air-King by Rolex; Stainless steel Drive de Cartier on black alligator strap by Cartier; both available at The Watch Gallery

watch now

3 . The Elder Statesman


In addition to timepieces, the elder statesman has a penchant for round tortoiseshell spectacles, double-breasted cashmere suits from Anderson & Sheppard and long winter holidays in Mustique (summer breaks are frightfully common). He's one of those fortunate older men who's kept a sweep of charcoal hair well into the autumn of his life and he knows the difference between day and dress watches. He owns 20 of each, after all.

From left: Stainless steel Geophysic Universal Time Automatic on black alligator strap by Jaeger-LeCoultre; Rose gold-diamond Altiplano on black alligator strap by Piaget; both available at The Watch Gallery


4 . The Free Man


He's escaped the corporate hamster wheel and now spends his weekends kite surfing in Oman, ocean diving in the Maldives and cliff diving on France's Atlantic coast. With a face carved from mahogany, hair with the lightest smattering of grey and a physique to shame men 20 years younger, he's also a wizard on the stock market and gets by on his dabblings (he netted a cool £3.6m last year).

From left: Stainless steel Alt1-ZT Automatic on brown leather strap by Bremont; Stainless steel Navitimer by Breitling; both available at The Watch Gallery

5 . The Minimalist

Alec Doherty


This guy has got nothing to prove, apart from the fact he has impeccable taste. A multiplatform designer by day and father of two by night, he has a thing for Margaret Howell shirts and vintage Helmut Lang, spends his weekend visiting art galleries with the kids and can regularly be found walking his whippet, Maud.


Stainless steel Max Bill Automatic by Junghans; Stainless steel Tangente 33 Karat Manual by Nomos Glashütte; both available at The Watch Gallery

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Teo van den Broeke
Teo van den Broeke is the Style Director for Esquire.co.uk
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